Tasting – Toyo Bijin Jundo Ichizu

It appears a month has passed since my last post! How time flies. I haven’t left sake behind, have no fear, I just seem to have been too busy to blog. But I have my notes, and there are some interesting things to report on.

Yamaguchi’s “other” famous brand, Toyo Bijin from Sumikawa Shuzo has released a special junmai ginjo for the world under corona. When toji Sumikawa Takafumi heard about the school closing back in February, and thought about what was coming, he set aside a special batch of his new label, Jundo Ichizu, to offer something special for people to enjoy while they’re sheltering in place.

Toyobijin Jinmai Ginjo Jundo Ichizu
Rice: Yamadanishiki 100%, seimaibuai 40% (Kojimai) 60% (Kakemai)
The goods. A 100% Yamada Nishiki Junmai Ginjo with a split seimaibuai, indicating careful making.

The sake is simply lovely. it opens fresh and clean with notes of musckmelon, white peach, and rice. it finishes smooth and clean with a quick splash of balanced acidity and astringency for an incredibly moreish drink. It’s such an easy drinking sake I find myself resisting finishing the bottle every time I open one.

And I open one a lot, because I bought a full 12-bottle case. Yes, my first case of sake is a premium junmai ginjo from a highly respected brewery… And the reason is, Sumikawa is selling these 720 ml bottles for 900 yen. That’s… What, US$8? Ridiculous. That has to be selling at a loss… and 10,800 yen for a case is honestly a must-buy. I’m not hoarding, though, I’m sharing and trading with people who might not have it on local shelves.

Because that’s what this sake is for. As I mentioned, it was set aside especially as something to encourage people under some pretty unhappy conditions, and clearly the price is part of it. You have to respect that, and be grateful for that level of commitment to community.

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